Patriots center David Andrews (blood clots) cleared to return

New England Patriots starting center David Andrews, who sat out the 2019 season due to blood clots in his lungs, announced on Instagram on Thursday night that he has been cleared to return to football.

Saying the NFL draft has sparked "time for reflection on the past, present and future," Andrews wrote, "As to the future, I'm excited that I'll have the opportunity to play the game I love again."

Andrews, 27, has been a three-time captain for the Patriots after initially joining the team as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia in 2015. He has played in 60 regular-season games (57 starts), in addition to 11 playoff games (nine starts).

"When and whatever the NFL season looks like, I'm just thankful that I'll be able to get back to competing with my teammates and coaches," wrote Andrews, a two-time Super Bowl champion who contributed to the Patriots last season in a coaching-type role, leading a weekly pass-rush meeting for offensive linemen.

"David has been a great asset to our program," Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said. "Nobody worked harder in his capacity and role, even last year when he wasn't playing. The more players and people we have like David Andrews in our building, the better for the Patriots."

Andrews previously explained the medical condition was something he was managing over the summer and initially believed to be pneumonia. Andrews said the blood clots were diagnosed at the end of the 2019 preseason in what he called a "freak accident."

When he posted on Instagram that he was cleared to return this season, second-year quarterback Jarrett Stidham was among those to comment to Andrews, writing, "LETS GOOOOO!!!!"

Andrews, of Johns Creek, Georgia, is the nephew of longtime NFL head coach Dan Reeves. He appeared in 50 games, with 40 starts, over his four-year career at Georgia.